Concerned over the rising number of incidents of acid attacks on women,the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory to all states and union territories,asking them to ban over-the-counter sale of acid. The move follows a recent Supreme Court directive asking the government to control the sale of acid.
The ministry also asked the states to impose a fine of Rs 50,000 on shopkeepers who do not maintain a register on personal information about those who buy acid.
The ministry has also suggested to the states and UTs to frame laws to make this crime a non-bailable offence as early as possible. The Centre also suggested a compensation of at least Rs 3 lakh to acid attack victims as rehabilitation cost. Out of this,Rs 1 lakh should be paid to the victim within 15 days of the occurrence of such incident towards immediate medical expenses. The balance sum of Rs 2 lakh should be paid within two months,it said.
The Supreme Court had on July 18 directed that the crime be made a non-bailable offence and enhanced to Rs 3 lakh the compensation amount for the victims. The apex court order had came on a PIL filed by Delhi-based acid attack victim Laxmi.
The ministry has told the states and UTs that acid should be sold only after the buyer produces a photo ID card issued by the government. The card should have the address of the buyer and prove that he is aged above 18. The log book should also specify the purpose for procuring acid.
All stocks of acid must be declared by the seller with the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate within 15 days and in case of undeclared stock,it will be open to the SDM to confiscate the stock and suitably impose a fine on such seller up to Rs 50,000.
The MHA advisory makes the following suggestions based on the Supreme court directive
* A log of all customers be kept with shopkeepers
* A fine of up to Rs 50,000 be imposed on shopkeepers who do not maintain logs
* States should frame laws to make acid attacks a non-bailable offence
* A compensation of Rs 3 lakh be paid to all victims
* Acid should only be sold after the buyer produces a govt issued photo id card which mentions his address and age
* All stock of acid must be declared to the concerned SDM within 15 days